New meal plan helps students access prepaid meals



Photo courtesy of The Chaparral.

College of the Desert will soon introduce a campus meal plan designed to be affordable and convenient for students.

The campus meal plan will make its debut in the spring 2019 semester and will be available to all students. The meal plan will be available in two different options. One option is funded through a student’s financial aid, and the other is through purchasing a meal plan with personal funds. After choosing an option, students will be able to use their student ID to pay for their food. The meal plan will only be available at the Palm Desert campus.

If a student decides to purchase a meal plan, they must fill out a form available at the Student Services tab on the COD website. The meal plans pricing range from $50 to $250. After students have made a selection they will need to submit their form to the Bursar’s office, located on the first floor of the Cravens Student Services Center.

After a few business days, an email will be sent out to confirm that the funds are available to use. Students should note however, the funds must be used before June 30 or else they will be forfeited.

The second option is unique to COD. According to Oscar Espinoza-Parra, Dean of Enrollment Services, COD is the only community college that allows financial aid to be used for a meal plan. “If you qualify for financial aid, you will most likely qualify for the meal plan,” Espinoza-Parra said. “It’s designed to be convenient  for students.”

This option works similar to financial aid for the bookstore. Students who are interested in this option should make sure their FAFSA or Dream act is completed and submitted for the academic school year, and their Pell grant, Cal grant, and or scholarships will cover the costs so long as at least $250 is left over as the standard meal plan will be $250.

With $250 students can buy around 40-50 campus meals per semester. Using the Student Services tab on the COD website, one will be able to obtain the form to submit at any financial aid office, such as the office in Palm Desert, Indio and Mecca/Thermal.

The student ID will be used to pay for the food as well. As meals are bought the remaining balance will be shown on the receipt. As with the other meal plan, students must make sure they use their available funds before June 30 or else the funds will be forfeited and no refund will be issued.

Beeps Café is located at the Palm Desert campus and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their hours of operation are Monday – Thursday from 7:30 to 7:30 p.m. The forms can be found at the College of the Desert’s website under the Student Services tab at



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